Risk behaviours of an interrelated syphilis-infected sexual network of men who have sex with men

Richie Diesterheft, John P. Brady, Mona Shattell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims and objectives: We examined the risk behaviours in an interrelated sexual network of 33 syphilis-infected men who have sex with men on the use of condoms, substances and websites to meet sexual partners. Our study used a descriptive exploratory design to investigate co-occurring high-risk behaviours in this interrelated sexual network to inform future health interventions and research directions. Background: Although the risk behaviours for human immunodeficiency virus transmission in men who have sex with men have been studied, few have studied the high-risk population of men who already have syphilis, and even fewer have studied the risk behaviours in sexual networks of syphilis-infected men who have sex with men who were identified using contact tracing. Design/Methods: The data were collected from semi-structured, individual interviews at a not-for-profit lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health centre in a large city in the Midwestern USA. Results: Inconsistent condom use was substantial during both insertive (92%) and receptive (88%) anal intercourse. Most participants (97%) reported using one or more substances prior to or during anal intercourse, and Internet websites were the most common place to meet sexual partners (88%). Conclusions: High-risk behaviours were significant within this syphilis-infected sexual network of men who have sex with men. The majority of our 33 participants were non-Hispanic Whites (n = 27, 82%), possessed a baccalaureate degree or higher (n = 23, 70%), and actively sought out unprotected anal intercourse [21 participants (64%) used BareBackRT.com, a website to seek out unprotected anal intercourse]. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses should be more informed about the risk factors of a high-risk sexual network of syphilis-infected men who have sex with men. Interrelated sexual networks have high levels of similarity among participants’ high-risk behaviours; contact tracing may be used to identify individual participants for relevant risk-reduction interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3597-3604
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical nursing
Volume25
Issue number23-24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • barebacking
  • HIV
  • Internet
  • men who have sex with men
  • risk behaviour
  • risk reduction
  • sexual behaviour
  • substance use
  • syphilis
  • unprotected anal intercourse
  • unprotected sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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